ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has refused to back down and has maintained his support for radical economic transformation.

Speaking on Wednesday at a 150th commemoration event for struggle stalwart Charlotte Maxeke in Kliptown, Soweto, Magashule told the community members that radical economic transformation was the way to go post the apartheid regime — and that this was ANC policy that nobody could change.

This comes despite comments from ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa after a meeting of the party’s national executive committee that “no ANC member should associate themselves with or be involved in” the so-called radical economic transformation forces.

Ramaphosa also condemned the use of party resources and premises to do the work of the radical economic transformation faction — which came in the wake of reports that radical economic transformation backer Carl Niehaus was using Magashule's office at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters to lobby for the group.

But Magashule did not hide his support for radical economic transformation on Wednesday.

“For as long as we are not free economically, the economy will always be in the hands of the white people and you as a black person will stay with no property, with Eskom [and] Pep store debt, and no land.”

“What do you have after all the struggle? What do you have? Why are you quiet? Why do you think radical economic transformation is not our policy position because it doesn’t start with Nasrec? It has been there in the Freedom Charter.

“We must all share the wealth of SA. The wealth of this  country must always be in the hands of the majority because it is important to do so.”

He said in 1994, when the ANC came to power, it promised people  free quality education. “That too, will never change. It is our policy.” 

Magashule is one of the ANC leaders affected by the party's “step aside” ruling, which requires those facing serious charges — including corruption — to vacate their positions. He was formally charged in court last year for his alleged involvement in the R255m Free State asbestos roofing scandal and is out on bail.

“I'm ready to prove my innocence when the trial starts,” he said.

“I am the SG of the ANC, elected at the congress, and I am still here. This weekend I will be meeting, starting with comrade Mathews Phosa, one of our veterans, and then by next week, I will be going to Nkandla. I will take it from there. My office is still scheduling a meeting with Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki.”

Asked if he was consulting on the step-aside issue, Magashule would not answer. He, however, revealed that after the consultations he would meet Ramaphosa and the national executive committee.

Meanwhile the factionalism within the party was evident when, on the same day, Ramaphosa vowed to crack down on corruption, saying those caught stealing will be dealt with. He was addressing ANC members and supporters in Gqudesi village in Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape, the birthplace of the late stalwart Charlotte Maxeke.


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